Emigrating to Portugal: 2 steps

As a Belgian, you can stay in Portugal for 90 days without fulfilling any obligations. After staying there for more than 90 continuous days, you will have to officially emigrate to Portugal. This article will explain the steps you need to take.

Step 1: Registration with your municipality

Once the 90-day period has passed, you have 30 days to register yourself and your family with the municipality. You will need a valid identity card for this purpose.

In addition, you must register as self-employed or employed. Another option is to prove that you have sufficient financial resources to stay in Portugal long-term.

You will also need health insurance. Self-employed should apply for this at the Instituto da Solidariedade e da Segurança Social. At employees the employer takes care of registration. Belgian pensioners can make free use of Portuguese health care (Servico Nacional de Saude) with the form S1.

There are also private forms of health insurance. Examples include Allianz, Bupa Global and Cigna Global.

After registering with the municipality, you will receive a certificate. This attestation is valid for 5 years.

Step 2: Applying for the residence permit

After you have lived in Portugal continuously for five years, you should apply to the Portuguese immigration service (SEF). You will need the following documents for this purpose:

  • your attestation from the municipality;
  • valid identity card;
  • two passport photos;
  • proof of residence.

After registration, you will receive a temporary residence permit. However, you can extend your residence permit indefinitely.

For EU citizens, this step is a formality.

What about tax residency?

Emigrating to Portugal has implications on your taxes. When you move to Portugal, you become a tax resident there. This means that Portugal will tax you on your worldwide income.

You are a tax resident under Portuguese law if you live in Portugal for more than 183 days a year. Find more here information on tax residency criteria.

Portugal has so far had a favourable tax regime for foreign pensions.

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